Friday, January 13, 2012
It's Already Friday the 13th...
My affection for this machine became relevant this week. On Monday, someone (me) MAY or may NOT have spilled a drink on her desk. And the liquid MAY or may NOT have somehow gotten in the calculator. But we are talking only droplets. Not an entire can of soda or anything...because as we all know, I gave up soda.
Since it was such a small amount of liquid that landed on the calculator I used a napkin to soak it up and I didn't even think anything more about it. That is until Tuesday. A co-worker and I were sitting at my desk working on a time-sensitive project and while we were working on it I began to key in numbers into the calculator. I should mention it was sort of a stressful project we were working on...as in the people that asked for it are important. There's something about a fire drill that makes me fumble. Both my colleague and I were feverishly working on the problem (er, I mean project). So I started to key in numbers into the calculator and, no matter what number I keyed into the calculator 0 showed on the screen. I pressed each number more and more desperately not understanding why my machine was not helping me. Of course a machine that won't work distracted me. I kept saying "Do you see this? What am I doing wrong? Why isn't it working?" My colleague didn't even pause. She just said, "Yeah, I see it. It's broken. What can I tell ya? It's done." And there was absolutely no emotion tied to these comments. My mind was saying, "What? Broken? How? That can't be. Wait...let's stop for a moment, re-group, fix my calculator and then return to the important project". I was sort of surprised that my colleague was not taking the whole broken calculator thing seriously.
Looking back, I see my colleague was wise to keep the focus on the actual project and not the broken tool. We had to move forward. Late delivery because of a broken calculator? Not an option. So we powered through (excel took care of us). And then I mentioned to my boss..."So...my calculator isn't working". There were no questions like, "Really? Are you sure it's not working?" Her response was: "Get a new one". I have the best boss.
So I took my sad broken calculator to the person that orders such things and said, "I'd like another one of these, please. Exactly the same if you don't mind." It was only after I walked away that I realized the calculator may have died because of the little spillage that had happened! Argh. Horror and then giggles and then more horror!
Then something worse happened. The person that orders calculators brought over a phone book size catalogue and said, "I don't know when this thing of yours was ordered, but it's not available to us anymore. You need to pick out a different one". She was really sweet as she left the dead calculator and the catalogue with me. Now I had to figure out what I wanted. What I wanted was a calculator exactly like the one I had. I mean really, look at it. I use my calculator all the time in my math world job. And I use it as a 10 key, not looking as I enter the numbers and functions for the needed calculations. It is imperative that the "+" sign is where my pinkie finger can get it. It is imperative that the "-" sign is directly above that and the "X" sign is above that. This, of course, means that the "/" sign is to the right of the multiplication sign. And the "*" must be to the right of the plus sign.
Absolutely ZERO of the calculators in the phone book of calculators have the keypad set up correctly. Many of them didn't have the "*" to total. They had "+/=" combining total with add. Many had the multiplication and the division key on the left of the numbers. I can't even figure out how you would be able to use it as a 10 key when the keys are not set up correctly.
Well, I finally ordered a calculator that was as similar as possible. It wasn't exactly the same. Keyboard issues with the location of the "X" & "/". But I thought, maybe I can adapt.
New calculator came today. So I plugged it in and tried to love it. Then, just for old times sake, I plugged in the gremlin filled calculator. And guess what!? It worked. Totally worked. Some of the keys kind of stick...but if I keep pushing on them they unstick. So I used MY calculator today. I want to use it for two full days before I return the one that was, perhaps, ordered prematurely.
So...I have no fear of this Friday the 13th. After all, I've already experienced the loss of my calculator. I won't say "what more could go..." because that is just asking for trouble. Plus, on it's worst day, Friday the 13th is still a Friday. Are ya with me?
Cheers and Happy Friday!